SEAL of Approval
How celebrity culture coaxed forth the inside story of the bin Laden raid.
After giving the order for twenty-four Navy SEALs to descend upon a compound in Abbottabad in April of 2011, President Barack Obama attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where he addressed many of the same people the White House would rely upon to propagate its version of the raid. This was a version of events that exaggerated both American heroism and Al Qaeda cowardice, and it began to unravel nearly as quickly as journalists delivered it to the public. We learned that four helicopters had landed and then that it was two, that the Navy SEALs had been on a kill mission and then that they had the option to take bin Laden alive, that the woman who was killed at the compound “was used as a shield” and then that she was just “caught in the crossfire.” We learned that bin Laden “resisted,”
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